If you feel bad about your body, try sleeping naked
"After having a child, a friend of mine was worried that her husband would no longer love the way she looked and that it would hurt their sex life. I suggested she try this one simple behavior: sleeping in the nude. It turned out that her husband already did that habitually. There's something very different that happens under the covers when skin touches skin and you can truly feel each other, instead of just pj's. Even when exhaustion takes over, the simplicity of entwined legs or a brush of a limb can keep you connected and more intimate. And it can even lead to feeling better about your body. Touch is profound--feeling your partner's skin against you in small, nonsexual ways is a nonverbal reminder that he loves and accepts your body, and he's not backing off, because it feels good. That can lead to better acceptance on your part too." -Sharon Gilchrest O'Neill, a marriage and family psychotherapist in Mount Kisco, NY, and the author of A Short Guide to a Happy Marriage
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Breathe your way through a sex problem
"I've had several girlfriends come to me with issues of pain during sex. Sometimes it's due to a disorder called vaginismus, but some women just have pain without any discernible cause. One particular friend was already being treated by her ob/gyn for the medical component, but I knew there were emotional issues as well. She has a history of sexual abuse and a lot of fear when it comes to sex. I recommended that she and her partner try 'sacred spot massage,' where you use fingers or a small vibrator to stimulate the 'G spot.' When she felt pain, I suggested they stop and become still, and that she breathe deeply and calmly until the pain passed, and then start again. In the beginning they had to stop and start a lot, but they stuck with it together. They can actually have intercourse now because she knows how to relax and breathe through it if discomfort does arise." -Robyn Vogel, a psychotherapist and sex coach in Boston
Treat yourself to new undies
"When a friend told me she wanted her guy to make her feel more sensual, I told her that it was her responsibility to do that for herself first; her partner was there to enhance and stimulate her feelings of sexiness, but not to create them. To get her started, I suggested she make it a priority to wear sexy, but still comfortable, underwear every single day. No granny panties, not even during her period! Over the next couple of weeks, when I'd see her, she'd show me the top of the sexy undies she had on, and she couldn't believe how beautiful she'd been feeling because of them. She told me that she had become more seductive in the bedroom because she felt so hot. From one simple change, she became much more inclined to initiate sex, and to say 'yes' whenever her husband did." -Sofi H. Matz, a relationship specialist and sexual health counselor at Canyon Ranch spa in Miami Beach, FL
Related: Is This How You Pictured Polyamory?
Men are sensitive in the bedroom too!
"A friend and I were having lunch recently and she started complaining that her guy didn't know how to 'get foreplay right.' I hear this type of thing a lot: People often seek sex counseling for something their partner is or isn't doing. What they don't acknowledge is that both people usually share responsibility. In my friend's case, she was also saying mean things to him, like, 'Who taught you how to kiss?' This made the man who loved her not want to make out with her at all; what I've learned in my practice over the years is that even when two people have been together for years, they can still get embarrassed. I suggested that she instead tell him what she does like, rather than what she thinks he's doing wrong: 'I am really turned on by XYZ.' There's no blaming in that statement, and anybody hearing it would be encouraged to please her more rather than feel ashamed or mad. She took my advice, and tells me that nobody has ever kissed her as well as he does now, and positive 'I' statements from both of them have made all aspects of their relationship more pleasurable." -Eric Marlowe Garrison, a sex and relationship therapist in Richmond, VA, and the author of Mastering Multiple Position Sex
Try this special down-there massage
"When friends tell me they're having trouble climaxing or that things just aren't zinging in bed, I tell them about this vulvar massage technique. As a sexual surrogate, I've taught this to couples, and also to male clients who want to learn how to make their partners happier. Basically, ask your partner to put his hand over your vulva, with his palm on the mound and fingers down toward the vagina. Then he just moves the heel of his palm back and forth a tiny bit, starting slowly, then getting quicker. It will slowly build up arousal. Everyone who tries it loves it." -Linda Poelzl, a certified sex educator, coach, and surrogate partner in the San Francisco area
Sex is the best medicine
"I learned that some relatives of mine who had been married for a long time weren't having much sex anymore. So I told the woman that, given her husband's heart history--he'd had a quadruple bypass--the best thing she could do for him, health-wise, was have more sex. I told her about a research team that found that men who had sex three or more times every week cut their risk of heart disease and stroke in half! And it's not just guys who get the health benefits: Sex can work as a sleep aid, an antidepressant, even a painkiller--good-bye, headaches." -Yvonne K. Fulbright, Ph.D., a sexuality educator and sex coach in Washington, DC
Stop fighting about sex and have sex already
"A friend confided to me that it had been a while since she and her boyfriend had had sex. He only initiates it in the morning after she has gotten ready for work--or at midnight when she is almost asleep and worried that she has only six hours until she needs to wake up again. She's typically ready for sex right after work, but he's not in the mood then. Basically, they're on different sex schedules. I told her to suck it up and do it late at night. That may seem man-pleasing or subservient, but if he'd been at lunch with us, I would've said the same to him about getting down and dirty when she gets home from work. It's worth it to compromise in this area, because by giving in to his needs, you're actually getting so much out of it too. I suggested that she not get caught up in the battle about controlling the timing and simply think about the big picture. Sexual satisfaction is important for a lasting and fulfilling relationship. If it means you go to bed 15 minutes later, what's the big deal, especially if you are feeling satisfied and closer to your partner? That very night, they… let's just say they engaged in a variety of playful sexual activities which neither had any complaints about. She told me she still woke up on time, and in a really good mood!" -Robyn Cassel, Ph.D., a clinical psychology resident at the Whole Health Psychological Center in West Palm Beach, FL